Thursday, December 23, 2010

A little (or a long) vacation ...

Just a quick "thank you" to all of you who still visit Politizine and OurConcord even though I haven't been posting much. Family and work have been taking a lot of my life of late. The former is fine; I won't get into the latter except to say that I have had a disappointing few weeks but I think 2011 will be an interesting year.
Politizine, specifically, enters its ninth year of existence this week. It's hard to believe that but it's true. Readership has fluctuated from the hundreds to the thousands and back down again, depending on what I have written about or how many other people linked to my site. OurConcord was created and grew out of a frustration with local media outlets not really getting at the heart of many stories. I have been very happy with some of that work. But it can be a daunting, exhaustive task.
Despite all that I have done at this point in my life, I'm facing 45 and I'm really beginning to wonder about things. It isn't just the economy or a moment in time or anything like that. It's just become very clear that I have not been setting priorities. I thought I was, but I wasn't (once again). I have to look no further than the piles of paper in different places in my home, the list of things I have been wanting to get done, both personally and professionally, etc., to see that I have not been focused. Things are not where they should be.
Thankfully, we're not hoarders, not like those folks on television, which is frightening to see. We don't have a lot even though we have much more than some. But even though I'm considered one who takes actions, I do put things off ... and then put them off and put them off again. I always have. It's time though to stop putting things off. And, I need to take some time off.
I'm going on a little or a long vacation. I'm not sure which yet. I'll let you all know in January, when I get back. I don't know what role Politizine or OurConcord play in my future.
I'm wondering about a lot of things lately. But know and understand that I have appreciated your readership, time, and comments about what I have been doing with these sites.
Have a great holiday season. Merry Christmas. And talk to you all again soon.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

What happened to selling the buildings?

First, it's a community center at the Dame Elementary School, now this: ["Ex-school as police station? Not so fast"]. A simple question: What happened to selling the buildings? What happened to offsetting the debt with the millions that could be brought in from selling these school buildings? This is all just very crazy.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Writer warns, don't go to PC Wizard

Guest perspective by Andy Sylvia

I don’t have a huge selection of Xbox games, but the one or two games I played most of the time worked fine until about a month or two ago. I was getting messages that my discs were unreadable at random times. I went down to a local GameStop and found out the problem was my Xbox, as they also got the same message with one of their new games.

So, after unsuccessfully trying to fix the problem with a disc cleaner that Best Buy suggested, I looked all around New England for someplace that could fix my Xbox. I figured Microsoft wouldn’t help since this was a replacement for an Xbox that had the red rings of death last year, and even if they did, I’ve heard horror stories about them.

A friend suggested I check out PC Wizard in on Loudon Road in Concord, so I gave it to them.

They charged $29.99 for the repairs, saying it was an optical lens problem and they could clean it. It would be done in about three days, and I said I would be back in town in four days, so that was fine.

I picked up the Xbox, brought it home later that night, and it was worse off than when I brought it in; before the game at least worked some of the time, now they didn’t work at all on the system.

I came back in asking for a refund, the man there, some guy with a beard, was extremely rude and refused the refund and I said I would spread the word about this experience, which he welcomed. That’s why I’m here today.

I filed a report with the Better Business Bureau, but this whole ordeal has just proven too tiresome, and I didn’t expect to ever get justice from this guy, so I just sold the Xbox to that GameStop at a reduced price (the optical lens ruined the system overall, but the other parts worked apparently, I was able to get to the dashboard at least even after this guy ruined my system) and bought a used one to replace it.

Still, I hope my experience can help other consumers in the Concord area to stay away from being ripped off by this guy.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

See, I told you!

Recently, the Concord Monitor reported that the Concord School District secured its funding for the elementary school consolidation projects at a very low interest rate, less than 4 percent.
With interest and state funding, the final cost of the entire project will be about $112 million, assuming no major (more than the 10-15 percent budgeted) cost overruns occur during the demolition and construction phase of the projects (I should note that this price does not include all the money already spent to get the district to this point, which would probably be another $1 million and change, when including interest).
In other words, as I have been saying for about four years now, the project will be in the $100 to $150 million range, albeit on the low side of that guess.
That said, no apologies necessary from all the naysayers who said I was lying or that my figures were too high or that I didn't know what I was talking about or anything else. No need. I, and many others, who know municipal budgets and finance, told you all how much the final costs would be and we were right all along, despite your protestations, ignorance, and personal attacks.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Well, well, well, Concord has a budget surplus

The Concord Monitor is reporting this morning that city government will have a $1.4 million budget surplus at the end of the year: ["Concord ends fiscal year with $1.4 million"].
Don't miss the big point here: If the auditing is correct on this, city officials never needed the 3 percent increase they placed on taxpayers earlier this year. In fact, if you look at the math [1 percent tax increase is equal to $290,000], property taxes in Concord should have been decreased this year by about 2 percent.
Yes, folks, you should have received a tax cut, not an increase, not unlike Manchester and other places are getting this year. Throw in the hundreds of thousands of dollars in savings I and others found earlier this year ["Monitor endorses 3 percent or higher tax increase ... "] and it would have been even higher than 2 percent. We're in the middle of the greatest economic crisis of our lifetimes. It's time for municipal government to be right-sized to reflect that crisis.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

First Charter Commission meeting

I was unable to make the first Concord School District Charter Commission meeting due to a work commitment but I heard it was a rather slightly sleepy affair, with the board mainly focusing on procedure business. Eight of the nine members were present along with a handful of residents and a couple of school officials in the audience. No media outlets attended the meeting (they don't work on Fridays, don'tcha know).
Former School Board member Betty Hoadley was elected chairwoman, former Concord Mayor Mike Donovan was elected vice-chairman, and former School Board member Martin Honigberg was elected as clerk.
There was some discussion about whether or not the elephant in the room - the scope of the Charter Commission's work - should be batted around, but that was tabled until all members could be in attendance.
The next meeting, scheduled is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 30, and will be the first of two public hearings, requesting input from residents about the issues. A second one will be held in January.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Meeting moved to Nov. 19

I received late word last night that the School Charter Commission meeting has been rescheduled to Friday, Nov. 19, at 7 p.m. The meeting will be held at the District's office at Dewey School. Leaders of the commission will be elected and schedule set for future meetings.

Friday, November 5, 2010

School Charter Commission meeting Wednesday

The Concord Monitor is reporting that the first meeting of the School Charter Commission has been set for Wednesday, Nov. 10, at 7 p.m. The meeting will be held at the District's office at Dewey School. Leaders of the commission will be elected and schedule set for future meetings.

Note to readers

A quick note to readers, especially those who leave comments. For whatever reason, the system that alerts me to comments being posted online is not working. The settings haven't changed; they are the same as my other blogs, which seem to be working. But, for whatever reason, they aren't working. I'm going to shut the notification process off and see how that works.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Congrats to the winners!

I'm really behind on things, due to work deadlines. However, here is a link to the Nov. 2, 2010, election results:,14

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Guess which Charter Commission candidate works for Chris Rath's husband's law firm?

So, fair readers, I got another hot tip at the polls today, too late in the game to really do anything with, but what the heck ...
Guess which Charter Commission candidate works for School Superintendent Chris Rath's husband's law firm?

Add "Jeopardy" music here ...

William Ardinger, the Ward 5, 6, 7, candidate who is married to Kass Ardinger, the Concord School Board president, works at Rath, Young, Pignatelli! Wow, indeed.
I don't know why I didn't think to Google the guy before but I just didn't.
Just goes to show you, the fix really is in these days and there is wayyyy tooo much incestuousness in Concord politics.
Future tipsters: Next time, please send this tips along BEFORE the election!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Endorsed candidate's wife works for the Monitor

I got a little tip this afternoon that Peter Ellinwood, one of the candidates in the Ward 1, 2, 3, 4, School District Charter Commission race, might have an in at the Concord Monitor that helped him land the newspaper endorsement ... His wife works there.
I couldn't believe it, but my source said, "Google it." Sure enough, there is a Suzanne Ellinwood writing for the Monitor. I went and checked my copy of the voter's list and there she is.
Talk about conflicts of interest. This race is so incestuous it's crazy.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Confirmed: NH-NEA didn't survey some candidates

I have just confirmed from two School District Charter Commission candidates that the NH-NEA, the Concord teachers union, never surveyed or spoke to them about an endorsement.
The union, not surprisingly, endorsed candidates all connected to the school board in some way, shape, or form. The endorsements were included in a newsletter that was postmarked Oct. 27.
However, if the NH-NEA didn't survey the candidates, how did they know who to endorse?
Let's take a look at this for a second, make some guesses, and analyze them.
1) They just guessed who to pick.
Not realistic, but possible.
2) They saw the Concord Taxpayers Association surveys and freaked out.
However, this isn't realistic either. First, the surveys were posted late in the evening of Oct. 24, with a press release sent out that night. While people did look at them that night, traffic shot up on Monday. If they saw our surveys on Monday, Oct. 25, the union would have had to drop everything, throw together a newsletter, get it printed up, and get it to the post office, and magically have them deliver it in record time. Not likely. Plus, they endorsed a candidate who didn't fill out the survey so they don't know where he stands. Based on the theory that they saw the CTA surveys, they were either just guessing on that guy or they know him outright.
3) The Concord Monitor sent the answers to the NH-NEA before publishing them.
The Monitor put together a survey and collected them on Oct. 21. However, the newspaper didn't begin publishing the answers until Oct. 27, and over a series of days after that. That would have been enough time to fax them over to the NH-NEA. On Oct. 27, the newspaper published the CTA press release about our surveys and was the only media outlet to do so. There was a boost in traffic on the CTA site that day. But that would have been too late, since the newsletter with the endorsement was postmarked the same day.
Consider the cozy relationship the editorial board has with the school board and administrators. Do they have such a cozy relationship with the union too? As bad as the Monitor can be some times, you have to think they have some journalistic integrity somewhere and wouldn't do this. It would be totally corrupt.
4) The NH-NEA got their marching orders from the school board or administrators on who to endorse.
Completely likely, considering. Think about it for a second: School Board President Kass Ardinger and School Superintendent Chris Rath collude in secret with state Senators in a back room deal to rig the Charter Commission altogether. They even got put school district attorney John Teague into a situation where he broke the law to rig the Charter Commission. What would keep them from colluding with the teachers union too to rig the Charter Commission election?

Important vote on Tuesday

For Concord School District Charter Commission, vote the Democracy Slate.
On Tuesday, Nov. 2, voters in Concord have a very important election to participate in. Yes, the governor, Legislature, and federal officers are all up for election. But the future of our city and school system are also on the line, with the election of members to the Concord School District Charter Commission.
The following candidates should receive your votes on Tuesday. I've nicknamed them "The Democracy Slate" because they believe in giving back parents their rights to have democratic choices when it comes to our school district charter:

At-large (3 votes): Laura Bonk and Charlie Russell
Ward 1, 2, 3, 4 (2 votes): Jim Baer and Kathy Conners
Ward 5, 6, 7 (2 votes): John Stohrer
Ward 8, 9, 10 (2 votes): Chuck Douglas.

These candidates understand the importance of this election and what needs to be done with our school district charter. They haven't fallen in line with the insiders. They have looked at the charter, followed the issues, and know the changes we need.

Based on some of the comments issued in the Concord Taxpayers Association and Concord Monitor surveys, as well as conversations I have had with at least one at-large candidate, Betty Hoadley, the following candidates could be considered for second and third votes:

* First, while Mike Donovan refused to send in his answers to the CTA survey after saying that he was ready to and grilled me with a number of questions about what the CTA was going to do with the surveys (all I did was put them online), his answers to the Monitor were interesting and he seems to understand the point of having a Charter Commission. I also had a long conversation with Hoadley at the Leadership Greater Concord event last week where she rattled off a bunch of reasons why I should vote for her. After saying that I had already sent in my endorsement letter and she wasn't on it, she continued and raised some compelling points. And, she asked for my vote too. While I haven't decided to cast a third vote for either Donovan or Hoadley, I might have to think about it. You should too.
* In the Ward 1, 2, 3, 4, race, Roy Schweiker also raised some relevant points in both of his surveys. He emailed his survey in and it was not received until after deadline. But he made some good points. Schweiker has also attended so many meetings and raised so many issues over the years and clearly understands the importance of fixing the Charter now. Baer and Conners have put even more work on this issue, but Schweiker, unlike some others, hasn't been a no-show.
* In the Ward 5, 6, 7, race, unlike the other candidates, Jessie Osborne seems to have an open mind about at least hearing some of the ideas before making a decision. Allen Bennett also raised some good points in his Monitor survey answer. Bennett refused to fill out the CTA survey and also did not return a phone call or email to me when I told him I needed another person to vote for and wanted to talk to him about the issue. This is typical of Bennett (In the past, he has not returned phone calls and then complained that I never called him). I don't completely agree with him on Ward representation, but it should be discussed and considered.

Why mention the other candidates who I may or may not be voting for? Simply put, the case could be made that this Charter Commission should be larger than it is, since there are so many interesting people running, especially those who are not connected to the current people on the school board. Those people who raised relevant issues during their campaigns deserve mentions even if I may not be voting for them.

A lot will be said about this race after the election. It's that important. Basically, there are two schools of thought. One side thinks everything is swell. These folks tend to have control over the system or are inside the system. And they will do anything and everything - colluding behind closed doors, breaking the law, etc. - to keep control of the power they now have.
The other side, which is filled with parents, historians, budget hawks, and others, believe things are not well. They are concerned with the status of student achievement and want to see school board members and administrators focus on educational excellence and not building empires. They have tried over and over and over again to get a seat at the table and to have their concerns be taken seriously those in power only to be continually ignored. It is a classic David vs. Goliath battle that happens in many small cities when a handful of people run everything into the ground.
This election, for the Charter Commission, may or may not lead to the changes that we as parents, residents, and taxpayers, need to make to improve our school system, expand representation, and have control over major bonding projects. Technically, it should.
The law, HB1457 clearly states in Section 3:
The charter commission shall have all the powers and duties of a charter commission established pursuant to this chapter and shall comply with the provisions of this chapter, except as otherwise indicated in this section.
This means, simply, that the Charter Commission has all the powers and duties of a Charter Commission, meaning that it can propose changes to the charter and put it before the voters in November 2011.
Even the final report from December 2009 of the Commission to Study the Concord School District Charter stated that this Charter Commission was to change the charter.
It stated:
A. The Commission recommends unanimously for the Legislature to relinquish control over changes to the school district charter.

E. In regards to amending the school board charter the commission recommends the elected commission use its prerogative to place questions on the ballot separately, that the current charter remain in effect until both a new charter and a new amendment process have been voted on by the citizens.
However, many of the candidates, especially those with close relationships with the school board, school administrators, and teachers union, answered "no" when asked about their positions on various changes that could be made to the Charter [See surveys online @]. Many of the proposed questions in the survey were brought before the Legislature in 2008 and are the reason why we are here in the first place.
But many of these candidates don't know that. And, more importantly, they don't know about the responsibilities of what they are running for or are running to hijack the important work that needs to be done. The candidates I have endorsed do.
On top of not knowing what the law is, many of these candidates never even set foot in the Council Chamber when the Charter Commission Study meetings were being held. The following candidates bothered to attend: Jessie Osborne, Kathy Conners, Roy Schweiker, Rodney Tenney, Martin Honigberg, John Stohrer, and Jim Baer. Clint Cogswell, Chuck Douglas, and Charlie Russell also served on the study commission.
There is something to be said for people who bother to participate in long, drawn out meetings and those who come in late to the process (although, anyone can run for the Commission).
In the end, the choice is yours. However, I have been watching this issue for years. Trust me when I say that these are the people you should be voting for on Tuesday.

WKXL wins three Golden Mic Awards

Congratulations to the WKXL 1450 news department for winning three 2010 Golden Mic Awards last week.
The news team won first place for spot news and swept the merit and first place documentary news categories.
The station was the only Concord station to win any awards.
Also, the New Hampshire Association of Broadcasters should be commended for, finally, fixing the name of the awards. They are, after all, mics, not mikes. :-)
All the winners are listed here: ["2010 Golden Mic Award winners"].

Saturday, October 30, 2010

School Charter Commission follies

Here's some of the things going on in the field for the School Charter Commission campaigns.

Board member backs connected candidate
First, school board members are backing various Charter Commission candidates that are, well, connected to school board members ... which should really be no surprise, considering.
School Board member Jack Dunn was spotted in the South End leafleting yesterday for William Ardinger, the Ward 5, 6, 7, candidate for Charter Commission who happens to be married to Kass Ardinger, the school board president.
Interestingly, the person who saw Dunn leafleting struck up a conversation with him about the illegal activity by school board attorney John Teague and the collusion by Superintendent Chris Rath and Kass Ardinger to put the fix in on the Charter Commission.
Dunn reportedly said he was "100 percent" in support of the activity by all involved (I've emailed Dunn to give him the chance to clarify his statement). Jack's not a bad guy, in person. But if this is true, he's completely clueless and simply unsuited for public office.
Anyone - and I mean anyone - who thinks that illegal activity, collusion and backroom deals with public officials and school administrators to keep parents and taxpayers from having the electoral rights that virtually everyone else in the nation has is OK, is simply not fit for public office. I don't care what the outcome is. It's wrong, period.

Party for school insiders blocks streets
Other school board members, like Bill Glahn and Jennifer Patterson, were reportedly seen outside the home of former School Board member Meagan Devorsey, along with other insiders with leaflets and signs for Peter Ellinwood and Connie Boyles Lane recently.
According to a source, cars were parked all over the Cambridge Street neighborhood, making it difficult for residents to get into their driveways and access sidewalks. It was heard that everyone had a merry ole time.
The Ward has been hit hard for leaflets promoting Lane's campaign, according to residents in the area.

NEA backs candidates who don't understand the charter law
The NH-NEA, the local teachers union, reportedly endorsed a slate of candidates in its most recent newsletter.
Not surprisingly, the union endorsed candidates who seem to not really understand the law or the role of a charter commissioner. They also backed candidates who seemingly are most connected to the school system.
Interestingly as well, the newsletter seems to have been sent out before the Concord Taxpayers Association or the Concord Monitor posted surveys from the candidates, the only two known surveys to be circulated.
This would mean that the union either had an inside track on who to support, it questioned some of the candidates (some say they never received anything from the org.), or they just picked randomly (which is highly unlikely).
How much you want to bet, considering all that has gone on, that the NH-NEA was spoon-fed the people to support by either school board members or school administrators in order to do everything they can to fix this election too? You can almost hear the threats ... "If these people are elected, you may never get another raise ..." even though the truth is that most of the good candidates running believe more money should be spent on actual school operations, not wasted on new, large elementary schools that will be obsolete by the time they are built. Amazing.

In case you didn't see it ...

Here's the text of my letter in the Concord Monitor from Friday:

Splitting tickets

After more than three decades of watching how government doesn't really work, many of us have come to the conclusion that the more divided it is the better things are. Bipartisan solutions, not one-party rule, will move the state and nation forward.

I don't agree with everything these candidates believe in, but they'll get my votes Tuesday:

First, Democratic Gov. John Lynch's steady leadership is needed to improve the economy during these unpredictable times.

Despite personally liking both major party candidates for U.S. Senate, I will ignore their mudslinging and vote for independent Chris Booth, a Constitutionalist who supports Medicare for all and alternative energy policies.

For Congress, Charlie Bass has already had his turn. Democrat Ann Kuster gets the nod.

After the debacle with the school board charter, our state senator, Sylvia Larsen, does not deserve re-election. Republican Chris Wood will serve us well, without collusion or backroom deals.

Concord Ward 5, 6 and 7 voters should send Democrat Rick Watrous and Republican Pam Ean to the Legislature. Watrous has worked tirelessly for us, supporting open, honest government. Ean, a school teacher, understands that the state must tackle spending first, before increasing taxes.

Most important, the following candidates for Concord School Board Charter Commission deserve your support: Laura Bonk, Charlie Russell, Kathy Conners, Jim Baer, John Stohrer and Chuck Douglas. These candidates will fix the charter and restore our rights as parents, so we can improve our school district.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Dame School can't be a school but can become a community center?

Many of you will be literally shocked to see the Concord Monitor's article today about a public forum concerning the future of Dame School on the Heights: ["Envisioning a community center"].
Question: How is it that Dame School is beyond repair and unsafe to remain a school but can become a community center? Simply put, it's not beyond repair or unsafe to remain a school.
In fact, as I have stated previously, the school district's own studies say this building, and all the others, are structurally sound.
In addition, all the population growth for Concord on that side of the river is going to be in the southern sector, especially when and if the off ramp to an expanded I-93 gets built and connected to Sheep Davis Road. But all of those kids will be bussed up to the north side of the city instead of being able to get to a closer school at Dame. What a waste of energy, money, and time.
As I have been saying for years, this isn't about quality education or the best option for children, parents, and taxpayers or historic preservation or anything else. This is all about empire building. This is all about School Superintendent Chris Rath and her legacy, and she and others will stop at nothing to get this done, much to our detriment. Mark my words: This plan will bankrupt our community. It will ... and it will be a disaster.
City Councilor Dick Patten, a frequent contributor here, speaking of plans for a new library, community center, and a fire training facility, really nails it on the head: "Where is the money going to come from?"

Sunday, October 24, 2010

School Board Charter Commission candidate surveys up online

The Concord Taxpayers Association surveys are now posted online: Concord Taxpayers Association.
Seventeen of 27 candidates (63%) filled out the survey.
I will have some thoughts about some of the candidates and their responses at a future date. Take a look and let me know what you all think.

Laconia Savings sponsors parade

Around Town with Dick Patten
Laconia Savings Bank has sent in their donation and will continue to be a parade sponsor. I received a call this week and was informed that they have sent in the donation and will have their banner carried in the parade. Thank you!!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Get ready for the Concord Christmas Parade

Around Town with Dick Patten
The 59th annual Concord Christmas Parade is scheduled to be held Saturday, Nov. 20 at 9:30 a.m. on the Concord Heights. However, there is a slight problem; the participants are doing very well, in fact Joe Joyce, meteorolgist from WBZ TV 4 Boston will be a grand marshal this year, with more participants every day signing up. The problem is no money. As of today, no donations have been received and I am extremely worried.
I know the parade sponsors from past years including Pineconia Grange, Concord Kiwanis Club, Stove Barn will continue to support it. But am waiting for checks and others such as Rowley Agency, Laconia Savings Bank, Merrimack County Savings to come in. There are not many communities having Christmas parades any more. Let's not lose ours in Concord.
Our parade has become one of the biggest in New Hampshire, if not in New England. We need to raise $4,000 for the expenses. WJYY 105.5 and the Wolf 93.6 are also announcing donors on the air.
Please contact Dick Patten at 496-2917 or James Cusano for information.

The Concord Christmas Tree Lighting Celebration is also making plans for the 24th event at the State House Plaza. Nasseau Broadcasting, WJYY 105.5 and 93.6 Wolf are helping to raise funds for the fireworks display put on by TeleStar from Keene.
I need to raise $8,000 dollars to cover expenses from fireworks, petting zoo, horse drawn wagon rides, music and more.
Please send donations to Dick Patten at 30 Pinewood Trail, Concord 03301.
Also a colored star will be placed on the big Christmas Tree during the evening for people to see. WJYY will also announce on the air all donors and their various designation. This event will be held the day after Thanksgiving, Friday, Nov. 25, at 4 p.m. More events are being planned. I need someone who can do face painting, if anyone is interested. James Cusano is assisting with the planning of the event.

I want to apologize for my absence recently, due to my being seriously sick. I have been trying to recover from bronchitis, ear infections, sore throats, etc. It was not the best time, believe me. I would like to thank Jim Cusano for all he has done.

Food, gas prices going up ...

I don't know if anyone else has noticed this but food and gas prices are going up in town.
First, in the last two weeks, gas prices at the Irving station at the corner of Penacook and North Main have jumped from $2.59 to $2.73. This is simply amazing. I offhandedly made a comment about it to the clerk and he said, "Holiday travel." And I said, "Holiday travel? Please ..."
Second, food prices at Market Basket, the cheapest place in town, have also increased. Here are a few price increases I have noticed during the last couple of weeks: First, boneless chicken breast has gone from $1.99 to $2.99 a lb. Butter has gone from $1.99 to $2.69 in recent weeks. And sour cream - a must have for nachos or tacos, at least for the wife - has gone up from $0.99 to $1.19 in a week. Bananas have also gone from $0.33 a lb. to $0.49 a lb.
There are still bargains to be had at Market Basket. But these kind of price increases during a one or two week time period is a little ridiculous.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Signs for Charter Commission candidates Cogswell, Lane, and Ellinworth emerge

Some candidates for the Charter Commission are clearly taking the race seriously and Auburn Street residents are staking out their candidates.
At-Large candidate and current School Board member Clint Cogswell has a sign on his lawn and is also supporting Ward 1,2,3,4 candidates Peter Ellinwood, owner of and Connie Boyles Lane, an attorney with Orr & Reno. Some of his neighbors are doing the same.
Since Cogswell has already told the Concord Monitor that he feels the scope of the Commission is limited, is it safe to say that Lane and Ellinwood agree? Maybe, maybe not. We'll have to wait and see.
Also running for the two Ward 1,2,3,4 seats are Robert Gile, Roy Schwieker, Kathy Connors, Jim Baer, and Matt Newland.
I know both Baer and Connors will be quality candidates on the Commission. Schweiker has also indicated from his letter in the Monitor that he understands the importance of the seat and how citizens should have control of the school board charter, without delay. Voters in those Wards should give those three serious consideration.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Monitor decides to send out a survey

Some of you may have read the newspaper story and letters in the Concord Monitor concerning the extensive Concord Taxpayer Association survey I sent out to the 27 people running for charter commission seats.
The CTA survey went out to candidates two weeks ago, asking them about their positions on potential school board charter changes. The deadline is Monday and then, after that, the candidate answers will be on the CTA site.
However, two weeks later, the Monitor has decided to send out its own survey, three weeks before the election, to gather information from the candidates.
According to sources, the survey, sent out by City Editor Hans Schulz, featured the following questions: Have you ever been elected to public office? Why do you want to be on the Charter Commission? There has been disagreement about whether the law that created the Commissions limits it to proposing a way to amend the Charter or allows it to recommend broader changes: What do you think?
So, instead of talking about some of the things the Charter Commission could do, the Monitor is using its questionnaire to filter the candidates into candidates who think they can amend the Charter and candidates who don't. I wonder if they will use this information to endorse too.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

NH AG: Concord school attorney broke lobbying law

Investigation reveals collusion between state, school officials regarding charter study commission

EXCLUSIVE: Must credit

The N.H. Attorney General’s Office has found that Concord School District attorney John Teague, of Upton & Hatfield, LLP, violated the state’s lobbying statute in 2009. During the investigation, the AG’s Office also revealed information showing that state and school officials worked behind closed doors to rig the public process surrounding the creation of the charter study commission.
In a warning letter to Teague on Sept. 23, Matthew Mavrogeorge, an attorney with the AG’s civil bureau, stated that Teague violated the law on May 4, 2009, when he – along with Concord School Superintendent Dr. Chris Rath and Board President Kass Ardinger – met with state Senate President Sylvia Larsen and state Sen. Betsi DeVries, a Manchester Democrat and chairwoman of the Senate Public & Municipal Affairs Committee, to discuss HB319. This bill, which was approved by the House, would have turned over regulation of Concord’s school district charter to Concord residents.
At this meeting, which was private and held in Larsen’s office, Teague, Rath, and Ardinger discussed “concerns” they had with the bill. Rath requested that Teague attend the meeting; he was paid $270 to prepare for and attend the meeting.
According to Larsen’s statement to the AG’s Office, Teague, Rath, and Ardinger “expressed ideas” about “how to respond to HB 319 and were looking for Senate support for these suggestions.” Larsen told investigators that Teague came up with the idea for a Charter Commission to study the school district charter.
In the AG’s investigation, Teague admitted that he was asked by Larsen and Rath to “come up with a draft of what the Charter Commission might look like.” Teague gave the AG a copy of the draft that he “ultimately created for Senate President Larsen,” according to the warning letter. The AG determined that Teague’s participation in the meeting constituted lobbying, and since Teague was not registered as a lobbyist at the time, he violated the statute. The AG stated that Teague believed he did not have to register since he was “promoting alternative language as legal services on behalf of a long time client.”
The AG’s office requested Teague “make a retroactive registration with the Secretary of State regarding this lobbying activity and fulfill the public disclosure components of the lobbying registration statute.” Teague, in a letter back to Mavrogeorge, stated that on Sept. 24, he requested forms from the Secretary of State’s Office but that office was “uncertain as to what was meant by this request and was unable to provide me with any forms.”
Interestingly, violations of RSA-15 are misdemeanors, according the the statute: "CHAPTER 15: LOBBYISTS, Section 15:8 Penalty. – Whoever violates any provision of this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor if a natural person, or guilty of a felony if any other person. Whoever shall make and file any statement under this chapter which is to his or her knowledge false shall be deemed guilty of perjury and punished accordingly."
Instead, it appears that Mavrogeorge is saying to the school board's attorney, “Well, you engaged in criminal activity, but we're not going to charge you with that because you didn't think you were,” which is a strange thing to be saying to an experienced attorney who violates this kind of law.

An odd conclusion

The AG Office’s opinion apparently found that Teague did not violate the lobbying statute during his May 14, 2009, testimony before the state Senate Public & Municipal Affairs Committee hearing, 10 days after the secret meeting.
This is odd since, in the warning letter, Mavrogeorge determines that Teague should have been registered as a lobbyist for the May 4 private meeting and has requested that he retroactively register as such. If this is the case, before Teague testified on May 14, it seems that he should have been wearing the lobbyist tag, since he would have been registered as a lobbyist the week before.
As I have written in other posts and as is noted in the AG’s warning letter, the law was amended in September 2009, which was included in the warning letter: “’[p]ublic testimony before a legislative committee or subcommittee’ are considered communications that are ‘excluded’ from the registration imposed by RSA 15 ‘and shall not be considered in a determination of whether a person is required to register or report as a lobbyist.’”
The AG’s decision seems to say that Teague’s testimony on behalf of the school district didn’t trigger the need to register. However, his actions before his testimony triggered the registration requirement. While I’m not a lawyer, I’m puzzled how this was not a violation of the law at the time.

A rigged public process

The larger and, frankly, more frightening and repulsive point, is what a charade this entire process was. Many of us testified at the Public & Municipal Affairs Committee hearing, thinking that our ideas, thoughts, concerns, and request to control our own school charter would be taken seriously by DeVries and the other members of the committee. Every citizen who spoke or signed in that day was in favor of the legislation that Rath and Teague opposed.
However, unbeknownst to us, the fix was already in, as noted in the Mavrogeorge’s finding: Teague, requested by Larsen and Rath, with DeVries in attendance, was to draft new legislation that, later, magically appeared, squashing the bill that had already been approved on the House side.
Neither Teague nor DeVries mentioned the previous May 4 meeting during the May 14 committee hearing. Neither mentioned that there was a revised bill coming. Every single person who forwarded legislation, amendments, testimony, both written and verbal, thought they were getting a fair hearing, but they weren’t. The entire process was a sham.
What does this say about our legislative process when a handful of officials can meet behind closed doors and create a backroom deal that strips away the ability of parents, taxpayers, and Concord citizens to have the power to change their school district charter?


Everyone involved in this incident stole the public process away from the people and rigged everything to a predetermined conclusion. The Legislature, its legislation, committees, boards, and study commissions, are not supposed to work that way. Preservation of their flawed elementary school consolidation plan, a scheme that tears down historic buildings, warehouses our children into four schools, raises taxes, and spends more than $150 million, is what motivated all of this. If this is such a great project, there would be no need for all of these shenanigans. However, here it all is.
It is clearly time for a public hearing by the Concord school board and complete airing of all the materials, documents, emails, and information regarding all activities surrounding this incident in public. The public deserves answers to the many unanswered questions and heads should roll. And yes, there is more coming, too – I have a stack of documents with more to write – so stay tuned.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

EXCLUSIVE: AG reportedly investigating school attorney

The state attorney general is reportedly investigating Concord School District Attorney John Teague and whether he broke the law while not identifying himself as a lobbyist during testimony before the Legislature and other potential conflicts regarding the charter commission process, has learned.
The investigation arose due to late 2008 and 2009 testimony concerning a number of bills in the Legislature which would change the school district's charter. Since the Legislature controls Concord's school district charter, the only way residents or officials can change the charter is to propose bills, get them approved by both houses, and signed by the governor.
Frustrated by the lack of accountability with the current school board, especially regarding the multimillion elementary school consolidation process and plan, a number of residents proposed bills in 2008. One bill included a proposal to force any district bonding more than $5 million to go before Concord voters for approval. Another proposed changing the way school board members were elected.
During those hearings, Teague testified against bills but never identified himself as a lobbyist, something that the law required at the time. Before the law was recently changed, lobbyists were required to wear an orange ID badge, so that both legislators and citizens knew that they were lobbying for a paid interest. Teague never wore the badge and never identified himself as a lobbyist (I know, I was there, and wrote previously about the issue here: ["Five alternative reasons why people don't attend school board budget hearings"]). Teague even argued that there was nothing wrong with the current system and that the Legislature had been doing a fine job of oversight of Concord's school board charter, much to the chagrin and giggles of everyone with a brain at the hearing.
But it potentially goes further, because Teague didn't stop there.
There was a move afoot by the House to wash their hands of all of this and give the charter back to the citizens of Concord. The bill was approved easily and then was sent to the Senate.
But in the Senate, something strange happened: At Teague's urging, state senators (who don't live in Concord, BTW) rewrote the bill and instead of giving us all the ability to change our charter, created a study commission to look at the issue.
The study commission spent months analyzing the issue with Teague repeatedly testifying and offering up more delays to the process. Instead of returning the charter to the citizens, he argued for an elected charter commission. The commission, he proposed, would be elected in November 2010 and would study the issues during the year and then return a proposal to the voters in November 2011. Shockingly, or not so, since the study commission was stacked with school supporters (["Well folks, the fix was in ..."]), by a 7-6 vote, this is what the commission agreed to do.
This delayed the process of gaining our rights back - rights that nearly everyone in the Granite State and virtually everyone in the nation has - even longer. It also put in limbo legislative initiatives forwarded by residents who were playing by the rules.
According to a source, the AG Office's has been talking to everyone involved in the charter commission study committee process as well as elected officials in Concord. Some have lawyered up, potentially worrying about whatever influence Teague may have wielded over the process.
This story is potentially huge ... it shows you everything that is wrong with some of our current elected officials, whether on the state or local level. It shows you exactly what is wrong with Concord, where a handful of connected people and one attorney can keep people from getting their rights back. And this is all breaking right on the eve of the election of the charter commission that could potentially vote to keep things as they are, with the Legislature controlling our school district's charter. If this happens, it means we have gotten nowhere ... for years. All because some attorney was able to weasel his way into the hearts and minds of people who should know better, while breaking the law.
More later ...

Monday, September 20, 2010

School board candidates escape challenge

Only three candidates have come forward to run for school board, meaning that none will be challenged in November and they will win by default. Incumbents Jennifer Patterson and Bill Glahn will return to the school board. Former state Rep. and City Councilor Tara Reardon is also running.
As someone noted to me today, isn't it interesting that 27 people (!) have come forward to run for nine seats on the Charter Commission, which could potential change improve the charter and empower parents and taxpayers in Concord, and no one is running for the school board.
It just goes to show us all that people in Concord want to be on the board that will actually create change and make things better - and not on the board filled with many people who don't seem to have a care in the world about what other people think.

Correction: 27 people run for 9 seats on Charter Commission

Correction ... 27 people are running ... my source missed one. Here is the final list of candidates running for the Charter Commission. I can't believe that 27 different people filed to run. This is just amazing:

City-wide/At-Large (3 seats): John Andrews, current school board member Laura Bonk, former school board member Barbara Brown, current school board member Clint Cogswell, Phil Donovan, a member of the Concord Heritage Commission, former Mayor Mike Donovan, former school board member Betty Hoadley, attorney Charlie Russell, and former school board member Rod Teney.

Ward 1, 2, 3, 4 (2 seats): Former at-Large City Council candidate Jim Baer, preservation activist Kathy Conners, Peter Ellinwood, owner of, Robert Gile, husband of state Rep. Mary Stuart Gile, Connie Boyles Lane, an attorney with Orr & Reno, Matt Newland, a former candidate for an at-large Concord City Council seat, and local commentator and frequent city board meeting attendee Roy Schweiker.

Ward 5, 6, 7 (2 seats): Current Ward 6 City Councilor Allen Bennett, former state Rep. Jessie Osborne, James Leon, former school board member and critic John Stohrer, William Ardinger, husband of School Board President Kass Ardinger, and Ken Wiswell, a principal in the Gilford school system.

Wards 8, 9, 10 (2 seats): Former judge and U.S. Rep. Chuck Douglas, former school board member Gerald Eaton, former school board member Martin Honigberg, Robert Munson, and Rob Norton.

Patterson to run for re-election

Current School Board member Jennifer Patterson, first elected in 2007, has opted to run for another term.
She, along with incumbent Bill Glahn and former state Rep. Tara Reardon have taken out papers to run for school board in Concord.
There are three seats with three-year terms up in November. The deadline to sign-up to run is today.

More charter commission candidates come forward ...

As of 2:30 p.m. this afternoon, here's the latest candidates running for charter commission:

City-wide (3 seats): John Andrews, former school board member Barbara Brown, current school board member Clint Cogswell, Phil Donovan, former Mayor Mike Donovan, attorney Charlie Russell, and former school board member Rod Teney.

Ward 1, 2, 3, 4 (2 seats): Former at-Large City Council candidate Jim Baer, local commentator and frequent city board meeting attendee Roy Schweiker, Matt Newland, a former candidate for an at-large Concord City Council seat, and Robert Gile, husband of state Rep. Mary Stuart Gile.

Ward 5, 6, 7 (2 seats): Current Ward 6 City Councilor Allen Bennett, former state Rep. Jessie Osborne, James Leon, former school board member and critic John Stohrer, William Ardinger, husband of School Board President Kass Ardinger, and Ken Wiswell, a principal in the Gilford school system.

Wards 8, 9, 10 (2 seats): Former school board member Gerald Eaton, former school board member Martin Honigberg, Robert Munson, and Rob Norton.

This, however, is not a final list yet. When the final list is put together, I'll post some thoughts on the matter.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Two in for school board

Editor's Note: This post has been corrected. Eric Williams is up for re-election next year.
Current School Board member Bill Glahn and former state Rep. Tara Reardon have taken out papers to run for school board in Concord.
There are three seats with three-year terms up in November.
So far, incumbents Laura Bonk and Jennifer Patterson have not taken out papers to run.
If you are interested in running, stop by Roger Phillip's Office, at 104 Pleasant St. during business hours. The deadline to sign up to run is Monday, Sept. 20.

Updated school charter commission list

Here's the latest candidates running:

City-wide (3 seats): Former Mayor Mike Donovan, former school board member Barbara Brown, former school board member Rod Teney, John Andrews, and current school board member Clint Cogswell.

Ward 1, 2, 3, 4 (2 seats): Local commentator and frequent city board meeting attendee Roy Schweiker, Matt Newland, a former candidate for an at-large Concord City Council seat, and Robert Gile, husband of state Rep. Mary Stuart Gile.

Ward 5, 6, 7 (2 seats): Current Ward 6 City Councilor Allen Bennett, former state Rep. Jessie Osborne, James Leon, John Stohrer, William Ardinger, husband of School Board President Kass Ardinger, and Ken Wiswell, a principal in the Gilford school system.

Wards 8, 9, 10 (2 seats): Former school board member Gerald Eaton and former school board member Martin Honigberg.

If you are interested in running, stop by Roger Phillip's Office, at 104 Pleasant St. during business hours. The deadline to sign up to run is Monday, Sept. 20.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Charter Commission candidates emerge

I just received a copy of the latest list of candidates running to have a seat on the Charter Commission that will analyze whether or not Concord's public school system charter should be taken away from the state Legislature and what, if any changes, should be made.
Most of my regular readers already know what I think should be done (And, no, I'm not running and I don't plan on running).
However, here are the candidates who are running:

City-wide (3 seats): Former Mayor Mike Donovan, former school board member Barbara Brown, former school board member Rod Teney, John Andrews, and current school board member Clint Cogswell.

Ward 1, 2, 3, 4 (2 seats): Local commentator and frequent city board meeting attendee Roy Schweiker, Matt Newland, a former candidate for an at-large Concord City Council seat, and Robert Gile, husband of state Rep. Mary Stuart Gile.

Ward 5, 6, 7 (2 seats): Current Ward 6 City Councilor Allen Bennett, former state Rep. Jessie Osborne, James Leon, John Stohrer, William Ardinger, husband of School Board President Kass Ardinger, and Ken Wiswell, a principal in the Gilford school system.

Wards 8, 9, 10 (2 seats): Former school board member Gerald Eaton and former school board member Martin Honigberg.

There were rumors in the Concord Monitor that current school board members Laura Bonk and Bill Glahn might be running instead of running for school board again but they obviously have not signed up to run.

If you are interested in running, stop by Roger Phillip's Office, at 104 Pleasant St. during business hours. The deadline to sign up to run is Monday, Sept. 20.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Get ready for International Observe the Moon Night

The McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center will be celebrating International Observe the Moon Night on Saturday, September 18 from 6-10 PM.

Throughout history people have looked up and wondered about the Moon. The goal of International Observe the Moon Night, promoted by NASA and celebrated at institutions around the world, is to engage public audiences and amateur astronomer communities and raise awareness of lunar research and exploration.

Visitors are invited to join Discovery Center educators for a night of telescope viewing and having questions answered by lunar experts. Dr. Harlan Spence, lunar specialist and director of UNH’s Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans and Space will discuss NASA’s latest mission to the Moon. Lunar activities will be provided by special guest Tom Estill of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. The night will include hands-on artwork, lunar scavenger hunts, lunar crater making, “Walk on the Moon,” lunar golf, and a special presentation of Tonight’s Sky planetarium show highlighting the Moon.

$9 Adult, $6 Child (3-12), $8 Student/Senior. Free for Members.

The McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center features 21st century interactive exhibits on aviation, astronomy, Earth and space sciences, a state-of-the-art planetarium and a variety of science, technology, engineering and math programs. The engaging, robust educational programs are geared towards families, teens, seniors, students, community groups, and lifelong learners. For more information, visit

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Pitch in days upcoming at the Audi

August 19, 2010 Show Up ~ Eat Up ~ Shine Up!
The Audi’s 20th Annual PITCH IN Menu Lists a Baker’s Dozen of Feats and Treats

The well-seasoned Superchiefs of The Audi’s PITCH IN crew -- Joye and Ken Olson of Penacook – are adding a special flavor to the 20th annual “barn-raising” effort to get the historic municipal theatre ready for its 106th season. They’ve planned a special baker’s dozen of feats and treats for the crews who Pitch In on Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday, August 30-31 and September 1.
The feats: each day, from 9am to noon and 6 to 9 p.m., folks show up and choose jobs from the Olsons’ “honeydew list” – this year including 13 special areas. A family or club or pick-up team scans the posted “menu” and picks an item to suit their skills and interest for a three-hour shift. “The Pitch In actually gets easier and more fun every year,” Joye says, “because 19 years of TLC and good housekeeping have really made a difference.”
The treats: every work session begins with a light breakfast provided by Panera Bread or a supper sponsored by local restaurants and supermarkets. That’s a taste of “honey” before the “do” begins.
“And here’s the history,” she adds. “We’ve always put a theatre spin on the Pitch In, with the Friends of the Audi promising dramatic working conditions, an interesting cast, roles for starts and chorus, an air-conditioned house, absolutely no pay, and the proverbial ‘Sweat Equity’ card.”
The bottom line: Every year since 1991 the all-volunteer Friends of the Audi have gathered crowds of neighbors on three summer days to shine the house for the new season – which opens with the GALA Show and its Arts Fair and Ice Cream Social on Sunday, September 19. Painting and polishing, sewing and scrubbing, mopping and raking and all – in just the past 10 years the Pitch In volunteers have provided the city with over $100,000 in maintenance labor. These savings help hold down the city’s cost of operating the theatre and the groups’ costs of presenting shows – which, in turn, means lower ticket prices. The work of the all-volunteer Friends of the Audi assures that Concord’s community-based arts and entertainment will stay affordable and accessible to everyone. Everybody wins!
Joe Andrews, the city’s former Superintendent of Public Properties, will serve as
crew chief of the six work sessions. “You can retire from the city,” he said, “but you can’t retire from the Audi.” His expertise guarantees a good job done well. This year’s Pitch In caps off a summer of major construction projects. The Friends of the Audi completed the last big item on their original 1991 wish list – mechanizing the flyspace. With broad community support of the $200,000 budget, the group first reinforced the stage area’s ironwork, then contracted for new rigging to replace the old hemp and pinrail, and finally had all the stage curtains cleaned, repaired, and fireproofed. In addition, the City of Concord completed a planned Capital Improvement Project, installing “green” and energy efficient windows in place of the leaky single pane originals. The City and the Friends worked closely together to coordinate these important upgrades.
Any special instructions for volunteers? Everyone is welcome. Superintendent Jeff Bardwell and the Public Properties staff will provide supplies and guidance. Young people 12 and up are always welcome to help gain needed community service hours. Joye and Joe advise wearing work clothes and sensible shoes and hope that volunteers will bring empty coffee cans to hold small amounts of paint. “And rags,” Joye says, “we always need more rags. Also, we especially need folks to share their upholstering and plastering skills.
Most of all, be sure to bring a sense of humor and an appetite for the treats organized by Pitch In hostess Laura McCormack.”
Just Show Up and Walk In, the Friends of the Audi say. Show Up and Pitch In ~ Eat Up ~ Paint Over ~ Sweep Under ~ Wash Down ~ and Head Out. They guarantee this is the most fun you’ll ever have with a 106-year old friend and neighbor. Plus, you’ll know you have really made a difference in the community.
For more information, please call Joye Olson, 753-4765 or email her at

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Classic and Antique Car Show on Sept. 11

Around Town with Dick Patten
I am happy to report that I am back submitting items for Tony. It has been a terrible summer in some ways and I appreciate my friends who have once again been there especially Jim Cusano.

The Kiwanis Club of Concord will have their 25th annual Classic and Antique Car Show on Saturday, Sept. 11, at the NH Technical Institute at 9 a.m. There will be more than 300 vehicles on display with prizes awarded in many categories. There is an admission fee f or those attending. This is one of the largest car shows in New England.

The Heights Farmers Market is open on Thursdays at the Stove Barn from 3 to 7 p.m. Jim Cusano is coordinating the event for Pineconia Grange #322 with Dick Patten assisting. This is a great opportunity for you to come and get your fresh vegetables, flowers, and fruits to enjoy. Call Jim at 586-7484 for information.

The State Primary Election Day is Tuesday, Sept. 14, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Please contact the city clerk if you are not familiar where your voting location is.

Pineconia Grange #322 has resumed meetings with the Grange planning several events over the next couple of months. The Grange will sponsor the Dictionary Project with Dick Patten and Jim Cusano assisting with the project. The Grange will give new dictionaries to third grade students in the Concord School District, Dunbarton Elementary School, St. John Regional, Concord Christian, and Shaker Road.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Oh, and BTW ...

Thanks Unitil for (finally) fixing the transformer yesterday. However, can we figure out a way to not go without power for eight-plus hours again? I have an entire fridge full of food that is probably a goner at this point. Instead of cutting corners, let's try some preventative maintenance to keep this from recurring again, considering the huge amount of money we are paying for electricity.

Weird fog this morning ...

There is a really creepy fog this morning ...

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Blackberries and blueberries

We're getting a bumper crop of blackberries and blueberries this year in West Concord.
For the past month, they've been going gangbusters, literally hundreds of blueberries and many blackberries. Not enough to make a blueberry pie or anything, but more than enough to make pretty good pancakes. Interestingly, or maybe not so, they were just pricker bushes last year. There weren't many raspberries at all this year, only two.
Another interesting thing is how the bushes have traveled from one side of the yard to the other. Historically, the blackberries and raspberries were on the west side of the yard. Granted, this was back 25 years ago or so. They were cleared out a while ago. Now, they are on the south side, with the blueberries moving east to south too.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Online petition to save the Kimball block

There is an online petition attempting to get the school board to change its decision about knocking down the historic Kimball and Morrill schools, along with seven houses. If interested, please sign here:

There will be a Planning Board hearing at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 11, at the City Council chambers. Everyone should show up and tell them to save the historic buildings.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Fourth of July Celebration a success

Around Town with Dick Patten
I would like to thank everyone who helped make the annual Fourth of July Celebration a success. The fireworks display was outstanding with some very colorful displays. The Nevers Band entertained as usual with a new conductor and a new large contingent of members. I hope that maybe this band could resume marching some day. Although they did the 1812 Overture, my favorite is the Stars and Stripes. I would dare to say there were well over 10,000 people watching from the field, along Clinton Street, Pleasant Street, and Iron Works Road. The weather cooperated and thank you to those who donated the funds needed to have this celebration.

Pineconia Grange #322 and The Stove Barn are teaming up to sponsor the first Farmers Market to be held on the Heights. Jim Cusano and Dick Patten are working together to organize this event. The Market will be open on Thursdays from 3-7 p.m. featuring locally grown produce along with a limited number of craftspeople. The Farmer's Market will be set inside the parking lot of the Stove Barn, 249 Loudon Road. Please call Dick Patten at 496-2917 or Jim Cusano at 568-7484 for information. The market will be open Thursday, July 22 at 3 p.m.

The Concord City Council will hold its monthly meeting on Monday, July 12 at 7 p.m. at the Concord City Hall Chambers.

Don't forget the annual Downtown Market Days starting Thursday, July 15, and concluding Saturday, July 17. There will be sales of all kinds, food of all kinds, amusement rides for children, demonstrations, activities and more.

The Pittsfield Old Home Day Celebration is Saturday, July 17 with all day activities, parade at 1 p.m. and fireworks at night. Pittsfield goes all out for this celebration.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

No increase in fees for Audi

From the inbox:
The Friends of the Concord City Auditorium JUNE 2010 UPDATE

Greetings and Thanks to All as the 2009-2010 season starts its final week…
The wonderful cooperative spirit of all the Audi’s Friends – presenters, producers,
performers, and audience – has filled the theatre’s 105th year with its busiest schedule ever and the final item on the “wish list” we wrote together in July 1991.
We are delighted to report that thanks to all your help – working at the Pitch In, providing gracious hospitality, respecting and preserving the historic house, conserving the energy by monitoring lights and HVAC, adjusting schedules to allow the maximum use of the theatre, and promoting the Flyspace Project – the City-Friends Memorandum of Understanding meeting agreed there would be no increase in fees for the coming season!

The season ends and the Flyspace Project begins… Here’s the schedule:
Tuesday, July 6 -- Sapsis Rigging will begin installation of the new rigging system.
and we’ll have a preview glimpse of the system on
Sunday, July 11 – 6pm THE FRIENDS OF THE AUDI ANNUAL MEETING starts with a true POT LUCK SUPPER and includes year-end committee reports plus naming The Friend of the Year and The Golden Pineapple Award recipients! Everyone is welcome!
And…during the summer…the City’s General Services Department will complete a project upgrading all the windows in the Audi – a great energy-saving improvement!

Here’s the Update on the Flyspace Project Fundraising: Thanks to over 800 local Friends and some very special supporters, we are within $15,000. of reaching our goal! If you haven’t “chipped in” a “brick” yet, we hope you will get a check in the mail to Audi Friends, PO Box 652, Concord 03302 soon!

All summer long, the Audi Dollhouse generously donated by Winnie and Bob Baker to benefit the Flyspace Project will be displayed around town at Imagination Village, the former Suitcase storefront, First Colebrook Bank, Merrimack County Savings Bank, and at the Saturday markets. Raffle tickets are $2 or 6 for $5 – and the very lucky winner will be drawn at the GALA on September 19.

Speaking of lucky winners – Tom and Rita Curtis of Concord won the pair of Southwest Airlines tickets when their butterfly card #461 was drawn by Mayor Jim Bouley and Friends President Abby Lange at the May 10 City Council meeting!

More dates to mark on your calendars:
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, August 23-24-25 – 9am-noon and 6-9pm – PITCH IN!
Sunday, September 19, 6pm – The 20th Annual Season-Opening GALA!

Marketing Committee Update:
We’re working on ideas for co-promoting the Audi’s 2010-2011 shows! Do you have special skills you’d like to use helping create posters, ads, press releases, or special events? There are no large time commitments. It’s just an opportunity to share your talents to help develop our community-based A&E…and to help build your portfolio or resume…and to work with other groups cooperatively promoting your shows and theirs. Cross-pollinating works for apples. Why not for shows? Sound interesting? Please hit reply and we’ll be in touch.

Re-thinking Main Street

There will be another session of the "re-thinking Main Street" project on Wednesday, June 30. The meeting will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Holiday Inn, 172 N. Main St. in Concord.
There are some interesting ideas being discussed.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Fireworks challenge ...

Around Town with Dick Patten
As many of you already know, the Concord Fourth of July Fireworks Celebration is in jeopardy. We are $3,000 short in paying for the costs.
At Large Concord City Councilor Mark Coen has issued a challenge this week, that he will donate $10 if 299 citizens would do the same.
Please make out checks to Concord Fourth of July Celebration c/o David Gill, at White Park Office, Concord.
Where can you go for $10 and enjoy wonderful music from Nevers' Band, at beautiful Memorial Field in Concord? It would truly be sad if the capital city of NH fails to observe our nation's birthday.
Please join Coen and myself in helping to keep this family celebration going. It beats watching it on television from Boston or New York City. David and I have worked very hard to raise the funds. We have many pledges but no cash. Until you have it in hand, you can't really count it. Please do it today! Thanks.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Demolition hearing dates changed

Editor's Note: The dates and times for the Kimball block hearings have been changed again according to members of the Heritage Commission.
The city council chamber has been reserved for Tuesday, June 22, at 7 p.m. for hearings on the demolition of the Kimball and Morrill buildings and Tuesday, June 29, 7 p.m. for the the seven homes abutting the Kimball footprint.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Conant, Kimball demolition hearings scheduled

I meant to post this yesterday but didn't get to it.

The magnificent school buildings - Conant and Kimball - eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places, along with seven houses abutting the Kimball site, are scheduled to be demolished as part of the Concord School Board's elementary school consolidation plan.

Public hearings to consider alternatives to demolition will be held by the Concord Heritage Commission Demolition Review Committee.

All hearings will begin at 4:30PM in the City Council Chambers on the following dates:

* Tuesday, June 15 – Conant School Demolition
* Thursday, June 24 – Seven Homes, Kimball Block
* Tuesday, June 29 – Kimball & Morrill Schools

Come and Let your ideas, recommendations, and plans be known. These community resources should not be destroyed!

In addition, if you can't make the hearings and would like to submit testimony, email City Planner Doug Woodward, the liaison to the Heritage Commission. His email is Doug will see that all comments get to Fred Richards, who is the chairman of the demolition review committee.

Upcoming council hearings ...

Around Town with Dick Patten

The Concord City Council holds its regular monthly meeting on Monday, June 14 at 7 p.m. This is open to the public and shown live on CCTV Channel 17.

The next budget session is Thursday, June 17 at 6:30 p.m. when city councilors will be discussing the budget, possibly adding items and deleting others. This is in preparation for the final budget presentation before the vote is taken on Monday June 21 at 6:30 p.m.
The public will be able to speak to the council and request funds be added to projects or deleted for this year. The Council will vote on the proposed budget following the input from the public. What would you like to see the council add or delete? I can think of some things.

I do want to apologize to my voters in Ward 8 because I won't be there on June 21. My wife ordered tickets for us to fly to Denver Colorado for a meeting she has for two days and then we are going to Las Vegas for three days. I had no choice, if I don't go, I pay extra to change and my wife wanted to surprise me, she didn't realize I had a meeting. So please understand it was not intended. I work everyday for my voters of Ward 8, I am always out there checking roads and neighborhoods for any problems or road conditions.

Pineconia Grange # 322 is starting a Farmer's Market this summer. New member Jim Cusano is organizing this effort. It will be held at the Stove Barn, located on Loudon Road next to Old Loudon Road. There will be no charge to set up this year. Anyone wishing more information is asked to call Jim Cusano at 568-8474 or Dick Patten at 496-2917.

Deepest sympathies are extended to Larry Ashford and family in their recent loss of his brother.

The Fourth of July Celebration in Concord is still in need of donations for the fireworks and band concert to be held at Memorial Field. Nevers Band will begin their annual concert at 7:45 p.m. There will be concessions offering food and items for sale.

The planning has begun for the 59th annual Concord Christmas Parade. This year's event will be held Saturday, November 20 at 9:30 a.m. on the Concord Heights. The theme for this year is "Our Holiday Wish" with floats, bands, decorated vehicles, emergency response vehicles, and more needed for the parade. Please call Dick Patten at 496-2917 for information.

The planning for the 24th annual Concord Christmas Tree Lighting has begun. The event will be held at the State House Plaza and will feature a variety of activities. The event will be held Friday, November 26 at 4 p.m. and will feature music, petting zoo, and horse wagon rides and more. Please call Dick Patten at 4962917 for information. Money is needed to help pay for the fireworks and other events.

Local primary ballots shape up

A quick note here about the upcoming 2010 New Hampshire primary ballots:
Locally, Senate President, Democrat Syliva B. Larsen will face off against Republican Chris Wood.
In Concord's legislative races, it looks like Republicans could potentially pick up a seat.
In District 10, only three Democrats filed for four potential seats: Mary Stuart Gile, Fran Potter, and Steve Shurtleff, all incumbents. Myril E. Cox and Carrie McGee are running on the Republican side. Barring an aggressive write-in campaign by another Democrat or independent, it looks like Republicans could pick up a seat here.
In District 11, Michael Bartlett, Candace Bouchard, Jim MacKay, Dick Patten, and Bob Williams are all running for five seats. Three Republicans have also filed: Incumbent Lynne F. Blankenbeker, Jeff Newman, and Frank Rosano.
In District 12, there will be a Democrat primary, with five candidates - including three from Wilson Avenue - vying for four seats. Challengers Helen Deloge and Alex Lee face off against incumbents Chip Rice, Mary Jane Wallner, and Rick Watrous. Deloge, Rice, and Watrous all live in Wilson Avenue. On the Republican side, Pamela M. Ean and John A. Kalb are running again.

In the statewide gubernatorial race, incumbent Gov. John Lynch has two challengers in the Democratic primary: Timothy Robertson of Keene and Frank Sullivan of Manchester. On the GOP side, four candidates - Frank Robert Emiro, Sr., Jack Kimball, Jr., John Stephen, and Karen Testerman will face off.
In the U.S. Senate race, Rep. Paul Hodes has no opposition on the Democrat ballot. Republicans have Tom Alciere, Kelly Ayotte, Gerard Beloin, Jim Bender, Bill Binnie, Dennis Lamare, and Ovide Lamontagne. That's going to be a mess.
In NH CD 2, Ann McLane Kuster of Hopkinton and Katrina Swett of Bow face off. The Republicans have five candidates: Former U.S. Rep. Charlie Bass, Robert J. Giuda, Jennifer Horn, Joseph G. Reilly, and Wesley M. Sonner, Jr.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Donations still needed for July 4th fireworks

Around Town with Dick Patten
The Concord Recreation Department is in urgent need of donations to help keep the Fourth of July Celebration. Please send donations to him at the White Park Office, Concord. Please call him at 225-8690 for information. It would be a sad day if we have no celebration.

The Nevers' Band will be starting their concerts on Tuesdays this month. The first concert will be Tuesday, June 22 at 7 p.m. at the State House Plaza. It will be great to hear the band, which I understand is bigger than previous years and a new conductor.

Pineconia Grange is beginning a Farmer's Market on the Concord Heights. It will be held at The Stove Barn on Loudon Road. Jim Cusano will be coordinating this new venture. The start up date is slated for July. Please contact Jim at 568-7464.

The planning is underway for the 59th annual Concord Christmas Parade to be held on the Concord Heights on Saturday, Nov. 20 at 9:30 a.m. The theme for this year's parade "Our Holiday Wish". Please call Dick Patten at 496-2917 for information. This is my 39th year of organizing the event. Assisting Dick will be Jim Cusano as he begins to learn the chairman's role.

The same goes for the 24th annual Concord Christmas Tree Lighting Celebration slated for Friday, Nov. 26 at the State House Plaza. This event will be dedicated to the memory of the late Skip Houle who passed away recently. Dick Patten and Jim Cusano are organizing the event. Please call them for information.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Happy Memorial Day

Around Town with Dick Patten

I would like to wish everyone a Happy and safe Memorial Day weekend. Please remember the real reason why we are celebrating this special day. Take time out to thank the members of our Armed Forces both living and deceased for their dedication to keeping us safe and out of harms way.

The annual Memorial Day Parade will be held Monday, May 31 at 9 a.m. sponsored by the Concord Veteran's Council. The parade units will begin forming at 8:30 a.m. in the parking lot in front of Burlington Coat Factory, off Storrs Street. The parade units will proceed from the parking lot to Pleasant Street Extension, up the hill to North Main Street. The units will turn northerly on to North Main Street and march to Boutin School where they will stop for brief ceremonies at Old North Cemetery. The units will proceed south to Capitol Street when the parade will come to a halt at the State House Plaza for ceremonies. The parade welcomes marchers, patriotic floats, and bands. Please contact Joseph Shea for information.

The City Council is still working on the proposed city budget. There are still several more departments to be considered. It is not too late to make your concerns felt. The next session will be held Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at the City Council Chambers.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Main Street Concord meeting

Main Street Concord will hold its quarterly meeting from 7:45 to 9 a.m. on Tuesday, May 25. The meeting will be held at the Main Street Concord Office, 15 Pleasant St., Second Floor.

Clarifying a point

Around Town with Dick Patten

I wanted to clear up something that was mentioned this week at a City Council meeting.
I asked to speak on a matter regarding the voting times for elections. I have been asked by several citizens if the hours were going to stay the same. I was informed that the council voted on this last October and that I was at that meeting and voted for it.
I asked the city clerk to pull those minutes and I was NOT at this meeting. My wife and I were at a computer board meeting of which she is a board member at Wentworth by the Sea for a couple of days. I, then left for Michigan, for my annual football trip. I should have read the minutes but only skimmed them over. So I wanted to correct the statement, I was not in attendance.

Again, funds are needed for the annual Fourth of July Celebration at Memorial Field. It was quoted as saying a donation had been received, however funds are needed. Please contact David Gill, at the Concord Recreation Department.

The Concord Veterans Council is looking for participants to be in this year's Memorial Day parade to be held Monday, May 31 at 9 a.m. The units will form at 8:30 a.m. in the Capitol Shopping Center in the area of Burlington Coat Factory. The parade route is the same as past years. The units will march up Pleasant Street Extension to North Main Street turning onto North Main Street proceeding north. The units will then march the length of North Main Street to Boutin Street. The parade units will pause at Old North Cemetery on North State Street for brief ceremonies. The units will proceed south on North State Street to Capitol Street when the units will proceed onto the State House Plaza. The Concord Veterans Council is coordinating the Memorial Day events. They are looking for bands, floats, marching units including boy scouts, girl scouts, cub scouts, and brownies to march. All veterans of wars or conflicts are cordially invited to march in the parade. In case of inclement weather, the event will be held inside the State House Hall of Flags.

I would like to thank Jim Cusano for helping me to do a adopt -a-spot cleanup at the intersection of Airport Road and Loudon Road. The two of spent three hours raking and cleaning up countless cigarette butts, empty cans, milk carton, and more. I would like to thank Rockys Ace Hardware for donating 6 and one half bags of mulch, Osborne's Agway on Sheep Davis Road for giving us 10 percent in purchasing flowering bushes, and Leon Dupuis who came over and offered to help. We appreciated it very much. Pineconia Grange #322 assisted by Boy Scout Troop 90 and Cub Scout Pack 90 are coordinating the cleanup. They also will be planting flowers in the near the giant spruce tree. A second cleanup will be scheduled within two weeks to finish the project.

I would like to thank Walgreen's Pharmacy (Jim Marston, manager), Makris Lobster and Steak House (Greg Makris, owner), and Foxfire Management (Steve Duprey) for their generous donations to help purchase banners for the summer season along Loudon Road. I had hoped to purchase banners for Manchester Street near the bridge and Old Turnpike Road. The cost for these banners are from $65 to $96 dollars depending on the style and colors. This has been a project of Pineconia Grange and myself as councilor for WArd 8. I also have coordinating the holiday banners during Christmas/Hannakuah. The Grange has been providing lights for the giant spruce tree along with State House Plaza and Eagle Square, along with coordinating the activities for the Christmas Tree Lighting. Please contact Dick Patten at 496-2917 for information.
I also would like thank those who donated funds in memory of a loved one. I had three people who did this and much appreciated.

I would like to offer my condolences to the family of the late Daryl (Skip Houle) who passed away recently. I am going to miss Skip terribly as he gave me anonymous donation for the Christmas Tree Lighting for several years to help with the fireworks. It meant so much to him. I am going to dedicate this year's event to him.

The next budget sessions are this week, Monday and Thursday. Monday, we will be discussing the police and fire budgets. The public is invited to at tend.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Flyspace winners!

Rita and Tom Curtis

The Friends of The Concord City Auditorium are delighted to announce that Tom and Rita Curtis of Concord are the lucky winners of the Flyspace Project's special incentive prize donated by Southwest Airlines: Two unrestricted roundtrip tickets! Their card was drawn from a butterfly net filled by over 800 donor families by Mayor Jim Bouley at the May 10 City Council meeting, and they are looking forward to a trip to Arizona.

So far, The Audi's Friends have responded to the Project's call to "Come Fly With Us" by donating $134,000 toward mechanizing the theatre's historic flyspace rigging and the project's goal of $200,000. A challenger has offered a 1-1 match on all contributions, so there is just $33,000 to go. Tax-deductible donations may be sent to Audi Friends, PO Box 652, Concord, NH 03301.

The Flyspace is the last big project on the Wish List drawn up by The Friends in 1991. Since then, the all-volunteer Friends of The Audi have raised and invested over $1,000,000. in the city-owned building, turning a wreck into a jewelbox which hosts over 100 public events every season.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Budget season is underway

Around Town with Dick Patten

The Budget Season is underway.
City Manager Tom Aspell gave an opening overview of the proposed budget which offers a small increase in taxes. It was an excellent presentation and gave us a lot of food for thought.
The next session will be Thursday at 6:30 p.m. when the City Clerk's Office, Code Enforcement, and the other departments in City Hall proposed budgets will be discussed. The meeting is open to the public.
The next session after Thursday will be Monday, May 24 for the police and fire departments will be discussed.

Pineconia Grange #322 will meet Monday, May 24 at 7 p.m. at Havenwood Retirement Center. A Memorial Day program will be presented. The baking contest will be held with members entering to be judged with the winning entry going to Merrimack County Pomona for more judging.

Money is still very much needed for the Fourth of July Fireworks Celebration at Memorial Field. A false rumor had been made that a donation had been received to cover it. However, funds are needed, so please consider sending a donation of any amount. Donations are sent to David Gill, Concord Recreation Office, White Park, Concord 03301.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Comcast: Change the name ... raise the rates

Crossposted at
Finally got a chance to look at the bills this afternoon. Noticed a $7 increase in the Comcast bill. Hmmm, what's this?
Well, it looks like Internet went up $2 per month. The TV side went up $5.01.
I had to go back to April's bill to look up why this was happening.
The HD cable box charge increased by $0.95 per month. If anything, the more people get HD sets, the more the price should go down. In fact, why are we being charged a surcharge for the HD box again? Basic service went up $3. Digital Classic also went up $3 (we have this for the kids programs and other things). Comcast also warned subscribers that Digital Classic will no longer be available for new subscribers. Hmm ...
Standard cable, something we don't have, went up $2.45 per month. Everything else seems to have stayed the same. Expanded basic service, something we don't have, was reduced by $0.50.
Interestingly, two items I don't use - Digital video recorder, recorder service - were also reduced. The "Digital Additional Outlet Service Charge" was increased by $1.
The letter from Comcast stated that the increases were due to "programming and other business costs." But looking at this, one has to really wonder.
Comcast recently started dubbing its services "XFINITY" ... whatever that means. It looks like it means higher rates and a name change. Big deal. Maybe if they spent less money on commercials, the bill wouldn't have to be so high.

More complaints
In looking at Basic Service, one has to wonder what is going on.
First, there are three free "multicultural" channels, specifically, three Spanish channels. Are these really necessary in New Hampshire, where there are few Spanish people?
Second, New England Cable News' HD channel is not on the Basic lineup (the non-HD version is). One has to wonder why we have to pay a surcharge to view this in HD.
Third, still no C-Span or C-Span II in the free service or the Digital Classic. This seems stupid since these channels are free. I have tried to get answers on this in the past and have not received them. I guess I'll be waiting even longer for an answer.
In many ways, these are small complaints. But the $7 increase is a bit much. If anything, the cost of business is dropping, not increasing. We should be seeing decreases in bills, not increases. And, with no competition in Concord, I guess we'll just have to live with it, unfortunately.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Merrimack Valley Voice turns 1

Congratulations to the Merrimack Valley Voice, the free monthly newspaper serving Penacook, Boscawen, Salisbury, and Webster, for turning 1-year-old last week. The newspaper is a 16-pager, featuring color photos, submitted copy, and a ton of ads. Nice job and here's to another year!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Council budget hearings upcoming

Around Town with Dick Patten
Pineconia Grange # 322 will meet Monday, May 24 at 7 p.m. at Havenwood Retirement Community in the Auditoroium. The Grange will have a Memorial Day program. The Grange received thank-you notes for the dictionaries presented to Broken Ground School. Merrimack County Pomona Grange will meet June 7 at Daniel Webster Grange. The annual baking contest will be held. Winning entries from all the Subordinate Granges in the Merrimack County Pomona District will compete.

The annual New Hampshire Law Enforcement Memorial Observance will be held Monday, May 17 at 10 a.m. at the Memorial located on the grounds of the Legislative Office Building at the corner of North State and Capitol Streets. There will be many people participating. Participants will gather at the State House Plaza and march to the Memorial. Gov. John Lynch will lead a delegation of State of New Hampshire politicians to the ceremony. The 5th and 6th Grade Chorus from Broken Ground School will sing appropriate songs; remarks will be given b y several invited speakers. Following the speeches, family members will place flowers on the their loved one's name located on the memorial. The New Hampshire State Police, New Hampshire Conservation Officers, Police Departments, Correctional Officers, and more will be among those in attendance. This is open to the public to attend.

A breakfast forum featuring Mayor Jim Bouley and City Manager Tom Aspell will be held Friday, May 21 from 7:30 to 9 a.m. at the Grappone Conference Center,Concord. The cost is $20 for Chamber members; and $30 for non-members this includes a full breakfast. This is sponsored by Nobis, Merrimack County Savings Bank, HinckleyAllenSnyder, CWB PA,Attorneys at Law, 3W Design. Please call the Chamber Office to make your reservation at 224-2508.

The 7th annual Blind Awareness Walk-A-Thon sponsored by N.H. Association for the Blind will be held Saturday, June 5 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.. This will be held ran or shine. Please call Mary at 224-4039 ext. 324 for information. The registration fee is $15 for adults, $5 for children under 12.

The City Council gets ready for the budget meetings: Tuesday, May 18 at 6:30 p.m. Budget Overview and Review Meeting Schedule: Thursday, May 20, 6;30 p.m., Administration, Community Development, Conservation Commission; Tuesday, May 25 at 6:30 p.m., Fire, Police including parking; Thursday, May 27, General Services; Thursday, June 4rd, Library, Recreation; Tuesday, June 8,Human Services, Social Service Agencies; Thursday, June 10 @ 6:30 p.m., Capital Budget, Bonded Debt; Monday, June 14 @ 7 p.m., Regular Council meeting; Thursday, June 17 at 6:30 p.m., Reserved/optional work session; and Monday, June 21 at 7 p.m., Public Hearing/Budget Adoption.

There is a scheduled session set for Monday May 31, at 6:30 p.m. with Fiscal Monitoring Report, Miscellaneous, Non-public session - Comp Adjustment. However, May 31 is a holiday, and the paperwork states May 24 as the holiday, so stay tuned, as we will get that checked.
These meetings are open to the public and this is where you, as a citizen needs to attend if you have questions. You can voice your opinions on areas that you are concerned about.

Again, don't forget the annual Memorial Parade parade is scheduled for Monday, May 31 at 9 a.m. with formation scheduled at 8:30 the Burlington Coat Factory parking lot off Storrs Street. The parade units will proceed from the parking lot to Pleasant Street Extension marching up the hill to North Main Street and Pleasant Street, turning onto North Main Street traveling north on North Main Street to Boutin Street stopping at the Old North Cemetery where ceremonies will be held along with laying of wreaths. The parade will proceed south on North State Street to Capitol Street to the State House Plaza where ceremonies will be held. The Rundlett Middle High School and Concord High School Bands will provide music for the parade. The ceremonies athe plaza will include laying of wreaths by the Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, Gold Star Mothers, and Gary S.Dillion Marine Corp. The ceremonies lwill include speeches, patriotic music, and 21 gun salute. This is open to the public. The parade is in need of participants. If you would like go enter a marching unit, patriotic float, or band be at the formation site and check with the formation committee. The parade will be held irain or shine. In case of rain, the events will be held inside of the State House Hall of Fame.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Turner moving on at ConcordTV?

It looks like Julienne Turner, the executive director at ConcordTV, has found a new job, since the cable access center has an advertisement looking for a new executive director in today's Concord Monitor (and online on the access center's site). No word yet on where Julie will be going.
The center is looking for someone with at least five years experience at PEG stations and is offering pay of between $42K and $50K, with benefits. At least someone is trying to rein in salaries in the wake of the great recession.
Best of luck to Julie. It is a tough job over there but she at least attempted to bring some credibility to the organization.

School Board member Fleming to hold public hearing

From the inbox:

You Have A Lot To Say
Where Have You Been?

I am looking to hear from parent of Kimball and Walker Parents. I am planning additional forums for each school.

My name is Kevin Fleming, I got elected to the school board in November 2008, I was looking to improve education, for the children. And have less parents flee the school system. To date, I have gotten 26 emails, regarding education problems and concerns. How many parents are out there, there are over 500 parents in only Kimball and Walker, but 1,700 in the total school district.

We can only fix problems, when we hear about them, directly. Not complaints in the newspapers, or through the anonymous posts on the Monitor.

I am looking for your help.

Can you help all of the children.

I am hosting an open meeting for parents of both Kimball and Walker.

On May 21, 2010 at 7 pm. West Street Ward House, 41 West Street.

If you can not attend, but would like to say something to me, email me at or call me at 715-1801

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Public hearing about downtown parking slated for Monday

Around Town with Dick Patten
I was reminded that the City Council will be having a public hearing about the price increase for parking in downtown Concord Monday night. This is a good time to come and voice your opinion. I know myself, that I am concerned about events in the evening, if people have to keep putting money in the meters. Not only am I thinking about the Christmas Tree Lighting, what about Nevers Band concerts, Thursday night concerts in Eagle Square, downtown Concord's special nights, and so much more.
Think twice, there are pros and cons and we need to think about it.

This is National Building Safety Month in May according to Mike Santa, city of Concord Code Enforcement Officer. Ted Evans, Concord's Health Officer and Mike Santa were special guests recently with Dick Patten on Around Town. Dick asked the two guests about the building market in Concord and was informed that there is a small increase as compared to previous years. They will host a Building Safety presentation, open to the public on Tuesday, May 25 at 4 p.m. at City Council Chambers. There could be so new changes coming for newly constructed homes, such as requiring sprinkler systems in homes.

I am in need of donations to help with the remainder of the banners on Loudon Road. Pineconia Grange is coordinating the banner project. I have been seeking donations to help purchase a few more. Walgreen's Pharmacy on Loudon Road made a generous donation to purchase two banners. I thought another business was going to donate two more, but so far no donation. Please contact me at 496-2917 if you would like to help.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Flyspace Project prize drawn Monday

From the Friends of the Audi marking committee:
The agenda of the May 10 Concord City Council meeting includes a 7:05 p.m. item of Audi interest: drawing the "butterfly card" of the lucky Flyspace Project donor who will win the two Southwest Airlines tickets. Thanks go to Mayor Jim Bouley for arranging this very public -- and televised -- drawing. Everyone is welcome to be there. The drawing takes place now so the winner may use the tickets over the summer vacation.
If you haven't donated yet and wish to be included in the drawing, please send your check to PO Box 652 Concord 03302 by May 8. Contributions come in daily, and we will continue fund-raising until we reach our goal -- with a to-date amount announced at the Council meeting.
The Audi's Dollhouse, created and donated by Winnie and Bob Baker, is displayed in the lobby now and will be shown in town over the summer...with raffle tickets available at every house "showing." Let us know if you would be willing to host the house at your event, school, recital, business, etc. The Dollhouse Raffle will be drawn at the GALA.
Double the treasure: a challenger has offered to double every contribution to the Flyspace Project in 2010 -- including every donation, every raffle ticket, every cookie jar. With such wide and wonderful community support, we will reach our $200,000 goal before the last bill comes in! Many Thanks to All.
Here's the Flyspace Project time table: last scheduled event - June 19. Stage curtains taken down -- to be sent for repair, cleaning, refireproofing - June 20. Concord Steam Company begins removing pipes on stage left - June 21. Sapsis Rigging begins installation of Flyspace rigging - July 5.
During the summer the "historic" windows in the building will be replaced. When construction is complete and the dust is gone, the curtains will be rehung and the curtains surrounding the proscenium will be steam-cleaned in place.
The Pitch In will polish the house Aug. 22-25...and we'll be ready on the set for the 20th annual GALA Season-Opening on Sept. 19.
There are 16 events on the Spring season schedule leading up to the Flyspace Project... all exciting community-based arts and entertainment -- and we wish great success to them all!
(Remember to come down to the Audi on Saturday Morning, May 8, Mother's Day Weekend, to boost your garden at the 10th Annual Perennial Exchange -- plus affordable plants and annuals, Mother's Day mugs, and the Great Gardening Raffle sponsored by 10 area nurseries. Info: